Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Archive176

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Noticeboard archives


User pages apparently acting as articles, self-publicity, etc[edit]

User pages currently are indexed by Google. How far can a user go in using his userspace for self-publicity, sub-pages for articles, etc. Eg. User:Rev. Michael S. Margolin - his user page is literally, except for being in userspace, an article on himself, and his subpage User:Rev. Michael S. Margolin/Sinagogue of Satan is the recreation of a deleted article - [1] which was done over 2 years ago after a deletion review [2] - but how long can it stay there without being moved into article space? And why should he bother risking AfD when it shows up as number 5 in Google when you just search for Michael Margolin or Sinagogue of Satan? 3 more in sort of descending order - User:Georgeos Diaz-Montexano, User:Ccmehil, and User:Dhushara. It looks to me that these fall under WP:UP#NOT but I'd like some comments, especially as to what should be done about them, if anything. Thanks. dougweller (talk) 21:37, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

A quick review of the "article" indicates that there has been no activity on it since September 07, and before that March 07. I think there has been plenty of time given to have the piece improved by way of provision of independent reliable sources, and that it should be deleted forthwith. I would do it, but for the fact I have now commented here. LessHeard vanU (talk) 22:28, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
Take it to XfD instead. Pretty fair reason to nominate. --Tone 22:32, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
I would usually just blank more obvious spam pages (non-notable companies and the like) since it's doubtful they'll ever come back to spam again but if they haven't edited in a while (and User:Ccmehil's edit history is particularly telling), agree with Tone on XFD. When in doubt, punt it to consensus to decide. -- Ricky81682 (talk) 07:54, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
The content already has been XfD'ed as an article, but I suppose having the community re-affirm the decision will mean less potential comeback. LessHeard vanU (talk) 13:57, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
I have taken the liberty of putting up the sub-page User:Rev. Michael S. Margolin/Sinagogue of Satan at MFD for review. Looking at the MFD page, it looks like user pages in general are reviewable, also, so I may add the others if and when I have time. --CalendarWatcher (talk) 23:51, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
"User pages currently are indexed by Google" To prevent that I put __NOINDEX__ at the top of articles I'm working on in my userspace. I hope that is sufficient. Perhaps all user pages should have this by default?--Goodmorningworld (talk) 01:36, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

Old CfD needs closing[edit]

Could someone be kind enough to close this CfD? It has been open since October 28 for a total of 17 days. --Farix (Talk) 01:19, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

Suicide threat[edit]

Came across a suicide threat here [3]. Definitely not something I feel comfortable handling.--Fabrictramp | talk to me 17:28, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

I've deleted it from the page history. Gwen Gale (talk) 17:32, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
We're now dealing with suicide threats by deleting and ignoring? Serious question; I'm not being sarcastic. I typically file a CU request to get the IP... contact the ISP... etc etc... Tan | 39 17:35, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
See WP:SUICIDE. The edit came from an IP in Pakistan. Gwen Gale (talk) 17:36, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
I am familiar with that essay, and several times I have reported suicide threats to ISPs around the world. WP:SUICIDE states, "Once noticeboard threads have been responded to by appropriate parties, consider blanking them, possibly leaving a link to the last version of the thread for reference as needed." (Bolding my own). While I don't have a huge issue with what you did, I'm trying to determine if I've been going way out of my way for nothing. The gist of the essay is that we do not ignore suicide threats and take them seriously - or so I am interpreting. Tan | 39 17:58, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
Sigh, I just realized that that was talking about blanking this thread, not deleting the threat itself. Trying to work and Wiki at the same time. Anyways, I just always thought we take more action than merely deleting. Examples of my previous actions: [4](I was the one to contact the ISP in this oneTan | 39 18:00, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
Note that it is an essay, not a policy or even a guideline. You are, of course, more than welcome to pursue further action if you'd like, but no one is obligated to do anything specific (other than revert it). John Reaves 18:03, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes, anyone can take whatever further action they think fit. Mind, WP:SUICIDE, which is indeed only an essay, says: Threats or claims should be removed from any relevant pages, and are frequently deleted from page history, which is what I did, since I can see no need for it being there (admins can see it as needed). Gwen Gale (talk) 18:31, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
Noted. I wasn't trying to cause a ruckus; I was curious as to other people's mindset on this. Thanks for all your input. Tan | 39 18:34, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
(ec) Tan, none of this is to say you've been going out of your way for nothing, it's wholly up to you, please carry on doing what you think is most helpful. Truth be told, I do think 9 out of 10 or more of these are hoxes and idle (yes, maybe sad) teens trying to see what gets stirred up. If I saw one I truly thought was worrisome, I'd likely do something. Gwen Gale (talk) 18:37, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Why in the world would the revision be deleted from page history before it has been assessed and perhaps reported to the authorities. Indeed it should not be deleted in the case that the authorities need to see the revision in order to get the contact info from an ISP. Deleting a revision of intended threat or suicide at all is unwise but deleted it before it can be tended to is terrible. Bstone (talk) 19:54, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
    • Is it just me? My attitude has always been "fuck 'em. I don't care" . I seriously don't understand why anyone bothers with this kind of attention seeking vandalism. I'm not quite at the stage of actually goading them into doing it but I'm not that far off it. If they need help this website is not the place to go looking for it. But then maybe I'm just a horrible person. Theresa Knott | token threats 20:26, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
      • I'm essentially right behind on that. Of all the threats, suicide or otherwise, I've seen (note they seem to have proliferated over the past year or two), only one has seemed anywhere near credible (and when I saw that one I called the police, was on the phone for several hours, got some lucky kids out of school for a day and one unlucky one arrested). John Reaves 21:32, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
From what I've seen over the years, most of them are hoaxes or distraught but hardly suicidal teens stirring up the worries and fears most of us have about this kind of thing. I remember what it was like at that age, one way or another, they want to see what happens. I say follow the essay and delete the threats altogether (again, admins can see them anyway). Gwen Gale (talk) 21:39, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
"I'm not quite at the stage of actually goading them into doing it but I'm not that far off it." Encyclopedia Dramatica and 4chan are thataway...please peruse Suicide#Suicidal_gestures_and_attempts and leave your bit at the door on your way out if you decide to go for it. Bullzeye (Ring for Service) 22:29, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
PS- if this geolocated to Pakistan I wouldn't have bothered reporting either. Bullzeye (Ring for Service) 22:29, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
Either way, most of them are hoaxes and stir ups. Gwen Gale (talk) 22:31, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
I agree that they are. It's like a kid pulling a fire alarm; if it's real, the authorities are summoned and life is saved. If not, the authorities are summoned and the kid gets told, hopefully by the police, that crying wolf is unacceptable. Or you could simply RBI. Either option is a far cry from "goading them into doing it" for your own perverse amusement, which, like I said, is the mindset of an ED/4chan troll. Except now, since Megan Meier, if you successfully goad a child into committing suicide, you'll likely be arrested and prosecuted. Per WP:AGF, I simply assumed Theresa, as a long-time and valued administrator, was making a sick joke and would not consider actually trying to goad any Wikipedia editor (IP or otherwise) into committing suicide. It might be good if she clarified or redacted. Bullzeye (Ring for Service) 02:24, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
Did I say I would? Read my post again and don't be so bloody high and mighty. As someone who has had articles written about me at ED, and as someone who constantly deals with trolls, by revert block ignore, and as an admin who firmly believes that vandalising an article by threatening suicide as clear and obviously trolling I find you calling me a troll as really quite amusing. I have no intention of redacting my statement, and stand by what i said. Theresa Knott | token threats 07:00, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
Did I say I would? Er, unless we want to get into Clintonesque explorations of what "not far off it" means, I'm not sure how else one is supposed to interpret "I'm not quite at the stage of actually goading them into doing it but I'm not that far off it." Like I said, I AGFed and assumed you were making a bad joke. And I'm sorry you seem to think I'm high and mighty for pointing out (politely) that attempting to goad someone into suicide (for whatever reason) is a favored and particularly amusing activity for ED/4chan trolls (which is a fact), instead of saying what I actually thought, which is that musing over trying to goad a stranger into suicide out of spite is a pretty friggin' sick and offensive thing for a human being to do to another. I'm not in the minority here, either, Theresa. Nobody's disputing your right to RBI every suicide threat if such is your administrative judgment, but you'd be hard pressed to find anybody who'd support your right to harass said users with the goal of getting them to actually kill themselves. Such is, frankly, beyond the pale, and I rarely find anything bothersome on Wikipedia. This is just the Internet, but you're talking nonchalantly about potentially being the driving force for the ending of a real human life. I understand you've suffered at the hands of the trolls, but so have a lot of admins here and if that experience has made you so bitter and jaded that you're prepared to start acting like them out of a misguided sense of justice, you'd best voluntarily hang up your spurs here before you do. Again, I respect you greatly as an admin and an editor but this is...well, beyond the pale. I'd ask you again to clarify exactly what you plan to do, here. I'm seriously worried. Bullzeye (Ring for Service) 22:04, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
For a moment I believed you were serious, but "clarify what you plan to do" is a bit over the top. Or are you serious? In that case I suggest that you leave the evaluation of the credibility of any other "threats" you may encounter on Wikipedia to others who are more qualified. --Hans Adler (talk) 22:37, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
Oh I think he is serious all right. But i don't think he is reading my reply in it's entirety and simply choosing to read the bits he wants to. Bullzeye I have no intention of telling anyone to go kill themselves and never had. Stop fussing.Theresa Knott | token threats 06:10, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
Theresa, I read every word. Words have meaning, and it's kind of tough to ascertain dark sarcasm over the Internet; I ask others to take my words at pure face value when it comes to matters of life and death, no matter how far-fetched it seems, and I expect the same of others. But I thank you. That last post was all I wanted to hear from the start. Consider all of my previous statements redacted, and I will strike them out if you'd like. Bullzeye (Ring for Service) 07:44, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
Just for my eduction, Bullzeye, I noticed you and Gwen Gale both mentioned the IP being in Pakistan. Why does this make a difference? Not being snarky, just trying to learn. --Fabrictramp | talk to me 23:39, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
Meh. Maybe it's just too hard to make contact with Pakistani authorities. :) Master&Expert (Talk) 01:57, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
Unless it was a college or business IP, there's zero chance of inducing any kind of intervention. The guy's boss or teacher might care, but I seriously doubt the Pakistani national police would have any time to spare for this, for about 10 different reasons. Bullzeye (Ring for Service) 02:11, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
I'm also doubtful about the likelihood of doing anything useful about a suicide threat from Pakistan, but concerning suicide threats in general, I'm going to repeat what I wrote in an earlier related discussion. If you don't feel like doing anything about a threat, don't do anything. But don't act in a way that prevents other people from doing something. If you aren't going to help, just stay out of the way. looie496 (talk) 02:22, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
I can't believe what I'm reading! If this is a cry for help (we can't view the threat now) it must be responded to. If it vandalism or a sick prank, that's life! But if its serious, we may be the last community he has contact with! Admin needs to disclose this person's identity!--Gazzster (talk) 02:49, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
They don't know his IRL identity any more than yours or mine. All that could be done is a call to the Pakistani authorities, and if you'd like to give it a try you are more than welcome. It would probably help if you spoke Urdu. Bullzeye (Ring for Service) 03:11, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

note they seem to have proliferated over the past year or two That's because we have started taking them here, and discussing them. Feeding trolls largely. Perhaps we could come to a sensible plan here. If you come across a suicide threat revert ( but don't delete), decide to take action or not, and leave it at that. Is that sensible? Theresa Knott | token threats 06:45, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

Agreed. I would also stipulate that if the reverter decides to take no action, then they post here or on the Village Pump so that someone else can if they like. The revision can be deleted once an attempt has been made to contact ISP, authorities, somebody. In my mind, the suicide essay, while not policy, is just common sense. It is easy to become very cynical about the people who post unencyclopedic content to our project, but it is important to remember that they are human beings, also. Sometimes just the knowledge that someone out there actually is listening is enough to bring you back from the edge. Without going into any personal detail, this is something which resonates with me personally. I am perfectly willing to set up Wikipedia:WikiProject Suicide Watch or something similar for others who are willing to spend their volunteer time responding to these things. Let me know if this is something others would pitch in for. This is important. Cheers,--Aervanath lives in the Orphanage 16:47, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
I think setting up a whole project to deal with this is kind of the opposite of what Theresa was talking about - give them less attention, not more. And Wikipedia isn't therapy. We should, at most, contact the authorities. We ourselves should not be trying to "bring [people] back from the edge." Mr.Z-man 17:20, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
100% agree! I think any kind of suicide watch type project would simply encourage people to post suicide threats on wikipedia and may even open up us to legal problems. This is an encylopedia, and we are here to help write an encylopedia. Anything that is detrimental to that ( and threatening suicide certainly is) needs to be dealt with swiftly and without drama. Revert, block the account, deal or not as your own conscience dictates, and eventually delete seems sensible. If people need bringing back from the edge they should go to their friends, family, doctor, religious leader, teacher or even some other website. But not here. We are here to write an encylopedia. Theresa Knott | token threats 20:03, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
I certainly see where you guys are coming from. We are primarily here to build an encyclopedia, not deal with suicide threats, large numbers of which are probably fake. That said, and while still agreeing that we should WP:DENY recognition to these types of things, I can't personally ignore them. Anybody who finds something like this, and doesn't want to follow up, is free to post it to my talk page for further. I would also like, if not a WikiProject, then at least a list, similar to Wikipedia:Admins willing to make difficult blocks, of admins/editors who are willing to deal with this sort of thing. Or is even that giving them too much attention? Any and all input is requested.--Aervanath lives in the Orphanage 06:28, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
Christ! The milk of human kindness certainly flows here, doesn't it?!There must be a policy for dealing with threats of violence! Doesn't it occur to any of you, that if we haven't heard more of this, is possibly because the guy has carried out his threat?--Gazzster (talk) 11:12, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
Could be, but highly unlikely. This has nothing to do with kindness, most of us worry about any threat like this, but some of us understand that most of these threats are hoaxes. Wikipedia is one of the most widely read websites in the world. Because the wiki software allows anyone to throw in content, these mostly empty threats, along with a very few, now and then, which have something to them, are bound to carry on with no end in sight, hence the notion of handling them through some take on WP:RBI. So what about the very few which may have something to them? If Wikipedia puts forth a set policy of dealing with or answering editors who are thought to be truly suicidal, Wikipedia becomes a suicide counseling/response service, with all the legal and administrative worries this would mean, never mind it would likely stir up even more hoaxes. Meanwhile I do think individual editors should always be free to handle these as they please, as individuals, even as the threats themselves, which are mostly hoaxes, are swiftly rm'd from the wiki. The biggest question I have is, where to post these? An WP:Administrators' noticeboard/threats of self harm would only make things worse. The most helpful thing I can think of is to keep reporting them on ANI or AN, remove the edits (by revert or deletion, whatever the consensus might be), block the user, protect their talk page (keeping in mind that any suicide threat is a kind of murder threat echoing back on the one who makes it) and let individual editors do what they think fit from there. Gwen Gale (talk) 11:53, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
Aervanath, what would you think of a boilerplate pointer to a more appropriate forum, such as this one, with worldwide suicide crisis hotlines? On whole, I agree with Gwen and Theresa that we can't put ourselves in the position of being suicide interventionists--few Wikipedians are professionals or trained for dealing with suicide threats and could actually do more harm than good. I am also inclined to believe that many suicide notes to Wikipedia will be hoaxes. I did a brief stint with a local suicide hotline and found it disheartening how many people seemed to think faking suicide calls was fun (with their friends giggling in the background, no less). --Moonriddengirl (talk) 12:39, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
That would be acceptable. I do acknowledge Gwen Gale's point that most of these are probably hoaxes, and it's not our job to be suicide interventionists, I just don't think just dropping these is a moral option. The "boilerplate pointer" option you suggest sounds like something that could get consensus. I'll throw a template together tomorrow for comment. I'm not going to try to make it mandatory on everybody, but I think having a standard template around for people to use would help standardize our approach to these things.--Aervanath lives in the Orphanage 16:31, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
I think so, too, and I also think it could help avoid some of the pitfalls of personal interaction with these individuals, where a communication misstep can precipitate the event we'd hope to avoid. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 18:17, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
I think any boilerplate would need to be worded very carefully indeed, but it might work. Theresa Knott | token threats 23:02, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
A draft is available at User:Aervanath/Suicide response. Contributions are invited. I would recommend that the revisions containing the threat and the response template be deleted after a reasonable period of time, say 24-48 hours.--Aervanath lives in the Orphanage 05:04, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
Simple and to the point. I think it's good. Provides real help to those who are serious with their threat while keeping Wikipedia out of any potential legal hot water for attempting to provide help. لennavecia 19:52, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
This is helpful. Gwen Gale (talk) 19:57, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes Theresa Knott | token threats 21:08, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
Though I'd already tossed my support in at Aervanath's talk page, I'll "officially" note it here. :) --Moonriddengirl (talk) 12:26, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

Suicide Threat continued (a subthread)[edit]

Sure, it has of course occured to me that this may be a hoax. But Wikipedia, as a public forum, must assume the same responsibilies as any public organisation must. Those responsibilities include formulating and acting upon policies relating to public threats of self-violence or violence to others.It is not of course subject to local law- but still it must be responsible to itself and its members. I'm not trying to hop onto a soap-box here, but this issue does disturb me.--Gazzster (talk) 12:05, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

And in the same vein, why are suicide threats deleted asap?--Gazzster (talk) 12:06, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
What "responsibilities of any..." "public forums" or "public organisations" do you mean? Is this your own outlook or are you talking about a legal principle which defines public forums and organizations on the Internet along with lawfully mandated requirements to deal with this kind of thing? I ask this with a reminder that these threats do indeed seem to unsettle most of us (they unsettle me).
The threats are deleted because they're highly disruptive and also, starting up a conversation with someone who makes this kind of a threat (hoax or not) could tend to cause much more harm than help. Given that most are hoaxes, WP:Vandalism also fits, much more often than not. Gwen Gale (talk) 12:18, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
I don't understand that. Any public organisation will say also, that suicide threats are disruptive, whether they are real or not. Still, they all have a policy for dealing with them. I don't doubt that these sort of threats, true or not, 'unsettle' you. As they would any right-minded human being. But why do we suppose that, being an international website, we are exempt from the basic duty of care?--Gazzster (talk) 12:24, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
Again, as to basic duty of care are you talking about your own ethical and caring outlook or a legal principle which has sway over Wikipedia? Could you give some verifiable examples of "public organizations" which "all have a policy for dealing with them"? Gwen Gale (talk) 12:29, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
That's precisely what I'm saying! If Wiki is not subject to any law in this regard it needs to formulate it's own policy! And it should model itself on the principles that govern public organisations.--Gazzster (talk) 12:34, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
What public organizations are you thinking of? Can you name some, along with their policies about this? Gwen Gale (talk) 12:36, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
Would you like a list? We could start with the Police, Counselling Services, shopping malls, schools, the St Kilda Returned Services League, the Croyden Girl Guides Group?--Gazzster (talk) 12:41, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
Ok. How about websites? Gwen Gale (talk) 13:09, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
I'm probably jumping in the middle of something here, but we have Wikipedia:Responding to threats of harm. --—— Gadget850 (Ed) talk - 13:16, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for bringing that up. Although it's an essay and not a policy, I've read it as a guide and found it very helpful, but have also found some editors don't agree with parts. Gwen Gale (talk) 13:24, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
Which editor is threatening suicide? Killing oneself over not getting his/her edits accepted, is a bit dramatic. GoodDay (talk) 19:35, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
for those interested, there's also a (currently rejected) 'Threats of Violence' policy which if adopted could apply :-) Privatemusings (talk) 19:37, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

This is the wrong place for this discussion, this page is for discussion the administrator's noticeboard, not subjects that would appear on the noticeboard. John Reaves 20:07, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

Done. Gwen Gale (talk) 20:20, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I am horrified that an admin on this project would delete a revision which includes a suicide of homicidal threat without letting it be reported to the authorities. Gwen, might you comment on why you do this? Bstone (talk) 02:39, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Why are you horrified? Any administrator can see the revision and call/email local pd's if needed. And we really do have to weigh the possibility that threats are credible against the drama/trolling that comes from fake threats. Protonk (talk) 03:20, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
I think it's irresponsible to delete the threat if you do not also report it to at least this noticeboard. If you are, for example, Huggling and you come across a suicide threat, revert and go on... I don't agree that such action is appropriate. If, however, same scenario, but instead of going on, you report the revision here, then go on... I don't see a problem with deleting it immediately. لennavecia 05:42, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
I agree. From what I have read so far, threats of suicide are treated merely as nuisances. Which is a totally **cked attitude. Everyone behind a computer is a person, not a problem.--Gazzster (talk) 12:08, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

The threat had already been reported here, I then carefully reported here that I'd deleted it following WP:SUICIDE and any admin could and can still see it. Nothing about this stopped anyone from following up on it if they wanted to. Gwen Gale (talk) 12:12, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

Should we move it back up to the previous thread?--Aervanath lives in the Orphanage 12:31, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
It seems like a good idea, if nothing else so that they are archived together. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 12:35, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
Done. Gwen Gale (talk) 12:39, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

Better wording[edit]

I agree with the template idea, but I would suggest different wording. The current "We are sorry, but Wikipedia contains no resources to aid those in your situation" isn't quite true and a bit harsh. We have lots of articles that could be of help. I would propose "We are sorry, but Wikipedia cannot provide personal assistance to someone in your situation" followed by the same "Please call the number listed..." sentence or perhaps "We suggest you call the number....--agr (talk) 15:45, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

Lightbot (talk · contribs)[edit]

I appreciate that dates are often overlinked, but sending in a bot to unlink each and every wikilink to a date article is pretty radical. What happened to our healthy suspicion of bots doing the work of human editors? The relevant guideline, at Wikipedia:CONTEXT#Dates, has

such items should be linked only when this is demonstrably likely to deepen readers' understanding of the topic

now if somebody has written a bot capable of making that call on a reliable basis, I suppose we can announce the Turing Test has just been met. Meaning, I don't think so. dab (𒁳) 17:51, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Have you read all three of the discussions that are linked to from the 'bot's user page, especially the third? Uncle G (talk) 20:36, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
Lightbot should not be unlinking any dates as understand it. BJTalk 23:36, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
I take that back, why was that approved again? It is just as bad as removing all autoformatting which got denied.BJTalk 23:42, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
It seems to me that instances of a link that is "demonstrably likely to deepen readers' understanding" are sufficiently few as to make this bot good value, providing it can be reverted once and forever when an inappropriate delinking is detected. (talk) 05:24, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
For instance we already have bots removing certain links (of the myspace, youtube, blogspot type) on sight based on whether or not the editor adding them is autoconfirmed. (talk) 05:26, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

Blocking a bot[edit]

I'm not sure if this is the right place or not. If it isn't please point me in the right direction. I would like to request that User:Lightbot be blocked. At least temporarily. If you view the operator's talk page, there are at least 2 sections (here and here) where other editors have pointed out that the bot is acting contrary to consensus, and the bot operator appears to refuse to stop the bot or change it. One example of this, is how the bot is changing text that breaks the depreceated autoformatting ([[July 4]], [[1976 in radio|1976]] for example) to "[[July 4]], [[1976]]". It is removing a useful link. More details of the problems with the bot can be found at the 2 sections linked above.--Rockfang (talk) 18:44, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

I don't like autoformatting but there are many articles that contain broken autoformatting due to these concealed year links. All the bot does is fix the error. I don't expect thanks for fixing the errors caused by other editors, but I don't expect to be attacked for cleaning up the mess and explaining how autoformatting works. Lightmouse (talk) 18:59, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
In fact, your bot is removing a useful link under the color of "fixing" broken autoformatting. While your stated dislike of piped "year in subject" links is clear, the consensus is that they are both permissible and useful. Your bot has been removing these links and replacing them with bare "year" links which leaves the autoformatted date links you purport to be removing while stripping hundreds of articles of a useful, on-topic link. I have requested a temporary halt to this behavior which is both destructive and against consensus but you have not only refused but at one point concealed the mechanism for halting the bot after restarting it. - Dravecky (talk) 19:15, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
I was actually on my way here to begin this exact discussion when I saw that it had started without me (and now I've been edit conflicted - urgh!). Luckily, we seem to have reached a detente on radio station articles, at least for now. However, that's not to say that I don't still have concerns.
The task approval for Lightbot is very broad with regard to dates, as follows:
I would like to make it explicit that I will be editing dates in a variety of forms.
A 'date' is any sequence of characters that relates to time, chronology, or calendars. This includes but is not limited to seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, fortnights, months, years, decades, centuries, eras, and can be in any sequence or format.
Edits may add, remove or modify the sequence or format of dates.
Edits may add, remove or modify templates that involve dates.
Edits may add or modify autoformatting. Edits may remove autoformatting where it is invalid, broken or itself breaks a date for readers.
Edits may add, remove or modify links to dates.
In that regard, the edits that are causing concern are within the bot's scope, per its broadest interpretation. So, at this point, I think it's the approved scope that needs to be questioned. Given that the current state of WP:MOSNUM is that autoformatting is deprecated, why should any bot be adding autoformatting to articles or, as has been happening here, fixing autoformatting that is broken? Why should broken autoformatting be 'fixed' at this point, particularly if the links being 'fixed' point to valid contextual information?
Lightmouse, for what it's worth, I will say thanks for the explanation you've provided about broken autoformatting. As I've told you before, I also think it's unfortunate that you've taken all the flack that you have for removing autoformatting from articles, whether via your bot or via script through your user account. Some of that flack has been rather personal, which is particularly regrettable. However, I don't believe that this discussion has contained attacks against you, and I know that I certainly haven't attacked you. If that's how you're perceiving it, then I'm sorry for that. What I have done is raise what I believe to be valid concerns about your bot's edits as it concerns existing policy and as it concerns the deletion of useful links. Now that you've stated you've tweaked the bot to steer around the radio station articles, we'll hopefully be able to get some third, fourth, etc. opinions.
So, here's the question I'd raise. I think it's a reasonable assumption that a piped link - whether it takes the form of [[October 5]], [[1976 in radio|1976]] or simply [[1976 in radio|1976]] - is intended to point toward contextual information. As such, would it not make sense to build logic into the bot to have it skip past piped date-related links? Mlaffs (talk) 19:38, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
Indeed, I felt the request was too broad at the time, and, I think that this carte blanche type task is beginning to cause problems now. However, for the time being, the bot appears to have stopped. SQLQuery me! 21:31, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
The only reason the bot has stopped is becuase of this.--Rockfang (talk) 21:34, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes. I saw that the bots owner and another party were having a bit of a fight over that page. SQLQuery me! 21:35, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
And now the bot is running again, even while this discussion continues. - Dravecky (talk) 22:27, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
NOTE - to clarify, while there may be links such as these in various spots within an article, the particular ones that I'd like to see retained are those in the infoboxes. Other editors' mileage may vary ... Mlaffs (talk) 20:38, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
Links like that are not good, since people will think they're year links and not click them. See WP:EGG. However, that link does suggest an alternative that might be able to be done by bot. --NE2 20:00, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
Otherwise it might be a useful task for the human bot-net which has been doing most of the de-linking. — CharlotteWebb 20:23, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
That page notes explicitly that "piped [year] links may be useful in places where compact presentation is important (some tables, infoboxes and lists); and in the main prose of articles in which such links are used heavily, as is often the case with sports biographies that link to numerous season articles." –xeno (talk) 20:25, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
True but auto-formatting concerns would not apply to a table cell containing
| [[1998 NBA Finals|1998]] || [[Chicago Bulls]] || [[Utah Jazz]]
or whatnot, so hopefully these links would not be affected by Lightbot. I agree that year links (and most others) should be de-obfuscated in prose context. As a rule of thumb I would say try to make the links point where they appear to if they are part of a complete sentence or part of an index which is expected to list articles by title rather than by function, etc. — CharlotteWebb 20:36, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

The bot will not touch the example given by CharlotteWebb where the concealed link is on its own. It is only where the concealed link is preceded by day+month. You can't have autoformatting AND concealed links together. I did't make the rules for autoformatting and I think Wikipedia will be a much better place for readers when autoformatting is gone. If somebody adds a concealed year link to an autoformatted date, I have simply been undoing that error. If the consensus is that people want the bot to remove the day+month link and think the wording of the bot approval supports it, then I will remove the day+month. I just hope you guys are around when somebody complains about that. If the supporters of autoformatting were more active in making it work, perhaps we would not be having this discussion. Sigh. Anyway, which do you want:

  • removal of the link to the concealed year
  • removal of the day+month link

Lightmouse (talk) 22:10, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Using my first example in this subsection, if the bot changes anything, it should only be to delink the [[July 4]] and leave the in "year in radio" link alone. If the bot cannot delink it, it should leave both parts alone.--Rockfang (talk) 22:23, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
As autoformatting is apparently deprecated by some consensus while the "year in radio" links and their ilk are explicitly permitted in most contexts, if some change must be made automatically then I feel strongly that the link to the useful content be preserved and the date autoformatting be defeated by removing the link to the month-day pair. - Dravecky (talk) 22:27, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

I have stopped the bot's operation via the normal method again. If it resumes prior to a resolution of this discussion I will block it. I would also encourage the participants in this discussion to take into consideration the reams of discussion at WT:MOSNUM and see if some kind of real consensus can be generated regarding this recurring issue ... Shereth 22:36, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

I am astonished that I am being threatened with a block for fixing a defect. I have complained about these defects before but they lay unfixed and we would not be discussing these defects now if I had not started fixing them. If you like these errors so much, keep them. I am hereby making a formal complaint about abuse of administrator powers by Shereth. What is the next step in the complaint process? Lightmouse (talk) 23:51, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
I threatened to block the bot, not you. I never have threatened any administrative action against yourself, Lightmouse, only to block the bot if it continued editing in the midst of a dispute over its use. Anyway, if you insist on crying foul, here or AN/I are as good a place as any. Shereth 23:54, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
Lightmouse has once again started the bot with an edit summary of "see user talk page" but no apparent explanation on that page. - Dravecky (talk) 05:20, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

I hereby declare now that Lightbot not fix these errors anymore. The errors will remain concealed. That is a resolution of the discussion. I will restart the bot on the assumption that you have got what you wanted. Lightmouse (talk) 00:13, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

  • Sareth, I’m just dropping in and haven’t read hardly any of the above. You are in the thick of this and are familiar with the details. But I do notice that you have written of “continued editing in the midst of a dispute over its use.” As you already know, disputes very rarely completely end on Wikipedia. Most issues are never free of controversy. We need Lightmouse’s contributions here on Wikipedia. His Lightbot is extraordinarily prolific and does more work than a hundred ordinary editors. Further, emotionally, blocking Lightmouse’s bot would—from Lightmouse’s point of view—be received as if you blocked Lightmouse himself. I’ve always seen that Lightmouse has been extraordinarily quick to respond to any reasonable request. I encourage you to afford him the greatest possible latitude to determine on his own whether a general consensus exists for some policy and to revise his bot to implement the desires of that general consensus. More than most other editors, Lightmouse shouldn’t have to continually be looking over his shoulder just because a couple of extra-vociferous editors are willing to climb the Reichstag over some issue. Greg L (talk) 02:27, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry but I'm not a fan of the logic of "Lightmouse's bot does such good work that we should allow him to do whatever he wants." The last bot that people argued was so valuable and whose contributor was so important that the bot should not be blocked was a mess. If the bot is so important, split its work into important non-controversial work and other projects; there isn't a logical reason why a single bot should be doing everything. People asked Lightmouse to stop the bot and he should have, until the issue was resolved. On the relevant issue, thanks for taking care of things Lightmouse. It's nothing personal, just a view I rather don't agree with. -- Ricky81682 (talk) 07:13, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
  • My point is that if all it took to require that he stop his bot is because “people ask him to,” then we could rarely have bot assistance. Take the hypothetical example of a bot converting mebibytes to megabytes. This bitter conflict ended up with a clear consensus but it was also an instance where A) two editors were declaring there was no consensus, and B) would have no-doubt been as vociferous as hell about the point. Now, you know this is true, don’t you? There is rarely a controversy where everyone is in 100% agreement with the consensus view. We can’t let editors who’ve got bits of Reichstag imbedded under their toenails venue-shop until they find a sympathetic admin who finds that *There Is Conflict*.

    I’m making no judgements as to whether or not Sareth is improperly an involved admin in this instance (see Tony’s post below). If he is, then that would cloud his judgement. I’m just saying that he should cut Lightmouse the maximum slack to determine for himself whether there is or is not a consensus and operate accordingly. I’ve advised Lightmouse that all he should ever have to do is identify whether A) there is a general consensus for something, B) that his bot properly implements the gist of the consensus, and C) that he truly believes what he is doing is good for Wikipedia. It should not be any more complex for him than that. Greg L (talk) 20:09, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

  • Potential breach of a basic admin rule: I'm most concerned that Shereth risks breaching the conflict of interest rule here in threatening to block Lightbot, when he is personally involved in the issues. This is a serious matter. Tony (talk) 15:17, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure what you are getting worked up about here, Tony. I have attempted to make clear that my "personal involvement" is not a desire to see the discussion end either for or against the removal of links, but merely a desire to see the discussion come to a resolution. If attempting to ensure that a bot abides by community consensus is what you call "personal involvement" then so be it; I will not recuse myself from acting in a matter because I have added to the discussion previously, since my previous contributions have been merely to push for any solution, not a specific solution. Shereth 21:29, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

I must concur, and ask that the bot be blocked. It is now revert-warring to reset its own stop button, which is an abuse; more seriously, the approval on which it is now operating is this one: Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/Lightbot 3. It is vague; it is imposing an interpretation of WP:MOSNUM which is far from consensus, and the approval ignores considerable protest. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 17:59, 12 November 2008 (UTC)


Lightmouse, first off a block on a bot should not be perceived as a block on yourself. Any admin can should block a bot if it is misbehaving, and you as the bot operator needs to discuss the concerns without running the bot during the discussions. So what if the bot is delayed by 24 hours. This nonsense about a block on the bot being a block against yourself is just totally incorrect and goes against the point of WP:BOT. I'm telling you this as a past bot operator and as someone that has several scripts on toolserver.

Now, is this problem solved solved to the satisfaction of the general community? If it is not I urge any admin to block the bot in question until all issues are resolved to everyone's satisfaction. Thanks. —— nixeagle 03:14, 12 November 2008 (UTC)


Further up in this section Lightbot said that the bot will no longer change "year in subject" links. As the original poster of the bot block request, I am satisfied with that promise. Shall we consider this resolved?--Rockfang (talk) 17:40, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

I'm not so sure on that, the basic MOS premisis that this bot is acting on is currently under hot debate as I can see on the history. I'm not sure if lightmouse wants to halt the bot while that is sorted out or not. I would take it as evidence of good faith. You guys need to remember that BAG only gives technical approval for things... if the community at large is not happy with a bot's operation, BAG's approval may need to be re-looked at and possibly have the scope narrowed. —— nixeagle 17:47, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
It's true that discussion is still ongoing regarding the best approach to things over at the OVERLINK talk page. However, I'd agree with Rockfang - based on Lightmouse's statements regarding intentions for the bot going forward and after scanning some of the bot's edits earlier today/later yesterday, I'd !vote that this specific issue is resolved. Mlaffs (talk) 17:50, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
Although it's become apparent that there are several issues with the behavior of this bot, as regards the "year in subject" unlinking that I and others found disruptive, if the bot is no longer making these sorts of edits then that portion of the discussion is resolved. - Dravecky (talk) 18:05, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

Thanks. I regard this as resolved too. However, User:Pmanderson keeps on stopping the bot but has yet to explain why. Lightmouse (talk) 17:55, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

Can somebody persuade to User:Pmanderson to talk or persuade him to leave the bot alone. Lightmouse (talk) 18:00, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
The bot is disruptive, and has no clear mandate; what Lightmouse is doing with it has no consensus even at WP:MOSNUM. Three or four editors there unconditionally dislike date articles; but WP:articles for deletion/March 1 should show that they are a minority. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:10, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

This is a red herring, and programming the bot to stop doing the one thing it should be doing (removing links which say one thing and do another, whether they break date formatting or not) isn't a satisfactory result. — CharlotteWebb 18:35, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

Precisely. Anderson, Lightmouse is a highly skilled and diplomatic bot manager, and we should be pleased that he's willing to put in the time and effort to make HUGE improvements to the project, thereby allowing other editors to get on with their content editing. The critical role of bots (now and in the future) was one of the main themes of the address to the recent Wikimania conference by Dr Bill Wedemeyer, Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Michigan State University, who conducted an extensive study of the quality of (mainly) scientific articles on WP. We should be assisting and supporting, not obstructing; this is a long-term part of the project that we need to expand and refine. The recent spate of roadblocks appears to be at the behest of some individuals' pet peeves, rather than in consideration of the interests of the project. Tony (talk) 13:24, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

Proceeding from here[edit]

At this point, it should be obvious to any casual observer that no real conclusion has been reached. At best, we have a temporary patch. There are several issues here:

  1. The bot need to be re-evaluated as to whether or not it really has consensus anymore. There needs to be an actual community discussion as to whether or not the bot should continue running, and if so, what, specifically it should be doing. This should be somewhere like the village pump, not WP:BRFA or some MoS talk page.
  2. Revert warring on the bot's talk page is absolutely inappropriate, especially by the bot itself - a bot should not be turning itself back on after a user stops it.
  3. Running the bot during this discussion is also inappropriate.
  4. WP:BRFA approval is not like an ArbCom decision that one can wave around and use as justification to continue running while there's a discussion ongoing about the appropriateness of the bot. If there is a real community consensus that the bot should not be running, prior BAG approval does not matter.

If the bot continues revert warring to restart itself, or it continues running with no attempt to engage the community and determine whether or not it has consensus (there's always the possibility that the community doesn't actually care), I will block the bot and begin a discussion with regard to revoking its bot flag. Mr.Z-man 20:55, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

As will I. Since there was (apparently) some confusion as to the precise nature of the problem before, I'll accept that the resumption of the bot's duties was not in blatant disregard for the discussion going on here. But as this is an ongoing problem, the bot's operation must be suspended until the above questions are both addressed and resolved. Shereth 21:25, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
I just wanted to clarify something about which I think there's significant potential for confusion, because I think that the differentiation is important. The specific issue that Rockfang raised yesterday, and about which Dravecky and I both expressed concern, was a very narrow problem relating to removal of piped links within date elements in radio station articles. I think the three of us have agreed that this specific issue is resolved, insofar as Lightmouse has decided to avoid those particular types of edits via Lightbot. As I see it, the issue that PMAnderson is now raising, and which is giving rise to suggestions that the bot should stop its activities or risk a block, is part of a much, much broader discussion at MOS regarding the deprecation of date element links for the purpose of autoformatting, the true meaning of the term "deprecation", and the appropriateness of the automated removal of those links. In reading through various parts of that discussion, it's clear to me that there are some who feel that this discussion is fully and completely put to bed and that MOS reflects consensus as a result, and there are others who disagree, hence the further concerns raised here. For what it's worth, I have no dog in that fight. Mlaffs (talk) 22:02, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
Your evaluation of the situation is spot-on. Shereth 22:34, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

I will address the points made by User:Mr.Z-man:

  • 1. There needs to be an actual community discussion... This should be somewhere like the village pump, not WP:BRFA or some MoS talk page.
    • Fine by me. Start a discussion at either of those places.
  • 2. a bot should not be turning itself back on after a user stops it.
    • I can't parse that. There are many bots on Wikipedia and they are all restarted by bot owners after they are stopped by users. Some users (e.g. PMAnderson) even stop bots without giving a reason. Sometimes reasons for stopping a bot are 'you have changed one of the pages that I own, please stop'.
  • 3. Running the bot during this discussion is also inappropriate.
    • Who decides when the MOS is complete? There are many sections of the MOS that I don't like. I could claim that everybody must stop implementing those bits of the MOS until I have agreed to them. I could restart a discussion at any time claiming that there was not sufficient discussion or agreement.
  • 4. WP:BRFA approval is not like an ArbCom decision
    • I agree.

Now several of you have issued the block threats I look forward to seeing the discussion mentioned by User:Mr.Z-man. If there are constraints on implementing the MOS, then there are many editors that need to modify their actions, not just me. Lightmouse (talk) 00:10, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

This edit, and it is one of several, shows Lightbot removing the "stop" control from its own talk page. If this is the actual prggramming of the bot, that is unacceptable. If it were, for example, Lightmouse using the bot's account - well, there are other words for that. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 00:23, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

Ah, well I can clear that up easily. It is just Lightmouse restarting the bot while still logged into the Lightbot account. What are the other words? Lightmouse (talk) 00:27, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

You the bot operator needs to demonstrate consensus before doing automated edits. This is laid out in WP:BOT. If there are editors here doubting the consensus for the bot then it might be a good idea to make that consensus perfectly clear. As far as implementing the MOS, let me make it clear that the MOS is only a guideline, on top of that I should note that these changes your bot is doing (and I presume others as you mentioned) are not time critical (there is no deadline). It does no harm for you to pause the bot's activity while discussion is going on, what is 24 hours, 48 hours, even a week in the life of a program?
Finally I should note that if the community says (in a location public enough) that your bot is fine for operation, then that means all bots doing this task are fine. However if folks say it is not fine, then all bots doing this task are not ok. Frankly I don't care the answer, however I do think that any consensus is not very clear at the moment. While consensus is not clear, automated programs should not be running implementing one side's point of view. I think this is inline with what Mr-Z said above, and what I think some want. —— nixeagle 03:25, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

The bot was started again this morning (see edit history) with an edit summary of "see owner talk" but no actual relevant comment on that page (see edit history). - Dravecky (talk) 16:02, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

Actually all that happened was the "stop" was removed. Look at the bot's edit history; it has not resumed delinking articles. I'm not going to interpret the removal of the word "stop" as a flaunting of requests to pause its behavior here, as it has not resumed its duties. Shereth 16:32, 13 November 2008 (UTC)


is getting very crowded. Thanks, Grsz11 →Review! 00:59, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

See the thread below. --Elonka 05:54, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

Heads-up regarding ITN[edit]

Update time has been and gone, and Talk:Main page has a big red banner. {{In the News}} needs to be updated. Dendodge TalkContribs 13:16, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

Deceased wikipedian - Hankwilson (talk · contribs)[edit]

Hankwilson (talk · contribs) has died. An article about the - quite accomplished - activist is now forming at Hank Wilson. One of his ongoing campaigns was poppers awareness which resulting in some rather unproductive posting on that article. He seemed to have a lot of research but the level of discourse on that talkpage wavered in civility. And perhaps others. It might be good to clean and protect his user accounts but I have no idea what is the best approach to take. -- Banjeboi 11:53, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

Rest In Peace, Hank :-( .DollyD (talk) 02:17, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
I don't know that there is a need to protect the pages, but I have placed {{User:Bobamnertiopsis/userboxes/isdead}} on his user page and redirected the talk page to it. لennavecia 06:02, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
I think that helps quite a bit. I added a link to their article. Cheers. -- Banjeboi 16:14, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
Am I the only one who thinks that a userbox saying "This user is dead" is quite tasteless? Why can't we use normal text instead? --Conti| 16:23, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
I can see why you might consider it tacky, but it's phrased a bit more tasteful then "he bit the dust, folks". Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 16:38, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
Would somebody place his name at Wikipedia: Deceased Wikipedians? I'm never good at those things. GoodDay (talk) 16:44, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
It's not about the wording, it's about the fact that it's a userbox. Those that are usually used for statements like "This user likes pie" and "This user is silly". Having a userbox about someone's death just seems wrong to me. User:Asdfg12345 sums up my feelings nicely. --Conti| 17:30, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

[edit conflict!] Hello. I don't know anything more about this than seeing this page on watchlist, reading this post, and clicking to see the userbox. I understand that no one meant to be offensive or boorish, and I can see that no one would go to the trouble of making a userbox like that, and then someone else adding it to the page, if they were not well-intentioned. I don't think anyone means to do wrong. But I think it's in rather poor taste. The man died, that's solemn. Userboxes seem to be mostly gimmicky, fun, or geekish things to highlight mostly frivolous information. In my humble opinion, a RIP userbox is in bad taste. I'll be bold and simply delete the userbox and copy the text. If I've done something wrong please post on my talk page, happy to discuss. it's funny, at wikipedia, there's no one running the show, so we just discuss things among ourselves. Please let me know if people think this should be handled differently, though, or if my comments were perceived as inappropriate. Thanks.--Asdfg12345 16:53, 15 November 2008 (UTC) Note: I made this comment before changing the page, but didn't see that it didn't go through.--Asdfg12345 16:53, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

I looked for a banner, because I know I've seen it before, but I couldn't find it. It was like the retirement banner, but lighter colors, and it said something like "This Wikipedian has passed away." And that was pretty much it. I thought I had seen it on Jeffpw's page, but I suppose it was custom made and later expanded to what it reads now. It was really late. I didn't think about that last night. Sorry if the box seemed tasteless. I didn't really want to use it, but it seemed like a small token over text. Userboxes are sort of a Wikipedia thing, so it seemed appropriate. لennavecia 17:53, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Aside: Sjoerd Jongens died this week ([5]). I wish there were enough sources for an article. Some kinds of activist get more coverage on teh internets than others. The guy was a pioneer fo the use of the internet for activism, but was too modest to brag about it. Guy (Help!) 18:23, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

Does this tool exist?[edit]

Is there a tool to compare when two users were editing--for example, to show if two people ever edited at the same time, or what the difference in time-frames was between edits? Also, is there a tool to show the overlap between two editors as to articles edited? I have a suspicion of sockiness, but I'd like to have something more concrete than "spidey-sense" to go on. Thanks! GJC 02:51, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

Beware of using tools like that, especially if one of the editors you are checking is a serial vandal-fighter. According to the first tool, almost everyone on this site is a part of my sock ring. J.delanoygabsadds 03:16, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
Aha! See--now the truth comes out! (<--humorishness--in no way do I suspect J.del of having more than, say, fifteen or sixteen socks... (j/k)))GJC 04:50, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
There was this great thread on WR where someone postulated that I was running a sock claiming to be an 17-year-old Norwegian woman posting racy images of "myself" on my userpage. They based this on me having ~150 pages in common. The thread moved on fairly quickly after they realized what Huggle does to that tool. For example, I have 269 pages in common with Deskana, 885 in common with Dr. Blofeld, 1230 in common with Raul654, 6259 with NawlinWiki, 7250 with Iridescent, and 10074 with Epbr123! Hell, I've even got 73 in common with God Himself! J.delanoygabsadds 05:12, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
I just realized I break the second tool. "J.delanoy has too many edits to compare (over 10000)" Muahaha! You shall never find out the true limits of my awesomeness!!! *sees Luna casually clicking on Special:Checkuser and runs like hell... * J.delanoygabsadds 05:16, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
My tool has no limits. βcommand 21:02, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
I get a lot of spam like that, too. ;-) --Fabrictramp | talk to me 21:53, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
WP:BEANS -MBK004 05:22, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
I probably shouldn't point it at OrphanBot's half-million edits, then. --Carnildo (talk) 06:09, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
User:Voice_of_All/Specialadmin/monobook.js contains a script that adds a "Compare" tab to every user's contribution page. When comparing two users, it will list all articles they have in common, by date, with relevant diffs. - auburnpilot talk 04:29, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

What an awesomely helpful bunch you are!! That timeline one alone has probably just saved me from making a finger-pointing ass of myself... Thanks, all!!! GJC 04:48, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

Just remember. If you need something done, there's a tool for it. :) Wikis are amazing in that respect. --WoohookittyWoohoo! 12:50, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
I don't need a tool to make an ass of myself... or is that "I don't need an ass to make a tool of myself"? I come from the DIY (Dickery Inclined, Yup) generation... LessHeard vanU (talk) 13:41, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I also have a tool, example but it requires a authentication key to use. (to avoid abuse) if your interested either poke me on IRC or leave a note on my talk page see {{usercompare}} βcommand 21:00, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

UAA backlog[edit]

There's a massive backlog at WP:UAA - it'd be nice if someone could pop round and hand out a block or two. Dendodge TalkContribs 17:22, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

 Done. Cirt (talk) 17:37, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

Seven unaddressed reports. the skomorokh 18:48, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

Jesus Christ in Compaartive Mythology[edit]

I made an edit to the topic on 'Jesus Christ in comparative mythology' and when I revisited the site, 3/4 of the section on 'History' had been deleted (not what I added, but what had been there before). This has not been re-inserted. Please put the section back, as now it is missing a great deal of content. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:27, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

Your additions were reverted by Dbachmann with an edit summary of "WP:DUE. this is not the "Jesus myth" article. It is not about the historiticy of Jesus. At least read the title please.". If you want it put back, talk it over with him. Calvin 1998 (t·c) 19:31, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
And I strongly suggest you get an account if you want to be an editor on Wikipedia. You can still use the library where you are editing from, but that IP address came close to being blocked recently for vandalism and you might want to distinguish yourself from it. Also read WP:Citations to learn how to cite your sources. Thanks. - and by the way, I think the removal of text was correct. dougweller (talk) 19:43, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

New blocking option[edit]

As of the software update a few minutes ago, its no longer necessary to unblock a user before changing block settings (see [6], [7], [8]). If the user is already blocked, it will give a notice (MediaWiki:Ipb-needreblock) and add another checkbox to the bottom of the form (MediaWiki:ipb-change-block), similar to the "delete and move" checkbox when moving a page over another page. Mr.Z-man 01:11, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

Cool! Thanks to all the devs! -- Gogo Dodo (talk) 03:53, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
Ahhh, this might explain it. The helperbot at WP:AIV hasn't been working right this evening... The bot isn't down, but neither is it correctly clearing blocked users out of the list. My guess is that the new change has modified the expected forms in some way, such that the bot is no longer recognizing blocked users properly. I've left a note for Krellis (talk · contribs) to take a look at it. --Elonka 04:29, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
The change is affecting WP:UAA as well, which means it will need manual cleanup until the bot(s) are updated. --Elonka 05:53, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
Hi all. It *seems* that the problem was being caused by something as simple as an extra <span> having been added in an awkward position on Special:IPBlockList. I've made a tweak on Helperbot7 that appears to have fixed it (at least in the meantime until Krellis is around) :-) Will (aka Wimt) 22:56, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
It is appearing on the AIV page updates, so something is happening. I have noted its return on ANI. LessHeard vanU (talk) 22:59, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

I just wanted to let people know I changed MediaWiki:Blockipsuccesstext, since now you don't have to unblock to tweak the block settings. Feel free to revert/modify... J.delanoygabsadds 19:00, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

One of these days I should spend the time to convert it to use the API. Chillum 22:59, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

John Owen (author)[edit]

A quick query - is this article actually appropriate ? Although it states he's an author, it also lists details of allegations made against him before he committed suicide.... does this count as an attack page ? CultureDrone (talk) 22:28, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

The article is backed by impeccable sources. Whether it is notable is the only question; I was not aware of the matter (FWIIW), and does the notability revolve around the allegations/suicide or Owens Welsh language television credits? LessHeard vanU (talk) 23:05, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
I've looked at this too. I don't see that notability is established by allegations of crime per se, however lurid, and since none were in the event proven, nor are now ever likely to be, certainly not to criminal standards, I don't see any reason to have so much detail in the article. WP:BLP has repercussions beyond the article itself, by association, and I see every reason to take a cautious stance here. That he was subject of some allegations is beyond doubt; further than that we should not go. As to his notability as an author, my impression is that there is enough there to sustain an article. --Rodhullandemu 23:21, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
The “Clywch Report”, being commissioned by a Government Department, is as good as a criminal court record - so it is as good a reference as is possible to get, and it is referenced by a BBC report. However, the base notability is as a Welsh language author and television writer. As the "accusations" are grounded in good verifiable sources I suggest that it is therefore not an attack page, and requires no futher admin input. LessHeard vanU (talk) 23:41, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
The report itself does not deal with the veracity of the allegations, for that could only be a matter for a criminal court; I see it as perfectly valid to report those allegations, although the article originally went wildly beyond that report, and I have retrenched it to a defensible position as regards WP:V there. But he remains notable as an author, and that, probably, is where it should remain. Suffice it to say that I now have it watchlisted and will defend against unsubstantiated material. --Rodhullandemu 23:53, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

Notice of Arbitration Committee ban review and motion[edit]


I'm not sure if I am in the right place or not with this one and if I am not please redirect me to the right forum. Essentially User:TheDumbening has been making edits to the encylopedia that have been consistantly unconstructive at Freddie Mercury, singing, and related articles. Several editors have been placing kind remarks to him on his user page but he just doesn't get it. He has also been repeatedly uploading photos at the commons that violate copywrite laws. I guess the problem is that I don't know where this problem would fall. I'm not sure whether or not this person's actions are simply misdirected energy/not understanding wikipedia's guiding principles or a case of vandalism. The one action that might constitute vandalism is that he edited my user page today. Regardless, he doesn't seem to be responding to any effort to talk with him. Any help or advice you all have would be appriciated.Nrswanson (talk) 00:26, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Reporting a possible vandal[edit]

Iamthenew!! (talk · contribs) acts like a vandal. Many of his recent edits need revert. Please consider reviewing his activities. hujiTALK 22:56, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

  • I don't see any vandal behaviour from this user. Some of their edits are a bit muddle-headed, but this user seems to be acting in good faith. Reyk YO! 23:12, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
Given the history behind the original !!, are we sure there's not something a bit trollerific going on here? It just seems hinky to me, claiming to be "the new" incarnation of a user whose block led to one of the most contentious ArbCom cases in WP history, and an equally-controversial desysop...they might as well have named themselves "ArchtransitsBabySister" or something like. Just one user's opinion, of course....GJC 16:26, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
It doesn't necessarily have to refer to User:!!. They might just be ordinary exclamation points tacked onto the end for emphasis.--Aervanath lives in the Orphanage 09:49, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Problematic website...[edit]

I have come accross a website that displays wikipedia and adds ads. The evidence is linking here on this noticeboard. There's even a list of mirrors! What's the next step? --Mixwell!Talk 05:16, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

I don't know. But I do know that the Firefox ABP absolutely loves their site... J.delanoygabsadds 05:21, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
Check this out: Can someone go to m:Live mirrors and fill out a report? I don't have time, I really have to get to bed. Sorry. J.delanoygabsadds 05:28, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
Report made - sleep well ;) Skier Dude (talk) 06:28, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
Well, don't sleep too well. Live mirrors aren't blocked or anything... WODUP 08:00, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
What's wrong with live mirrors? Theresa Knott | token threats 18:42, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
Live mirrors like that steal our bandwidth just to serve ads—while we may be committed to produce a free encyclopedia, no one said we had to give away bandwidth for free. The server admins tend to block this kind of stuff on sight. {{Nihiltres|talk|log}} 06:26, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Speedy deletion[edit]

I came across Minicalc and couldn't find a criteria for speedy deletion it would go under. A7, which excludes software, seems to be the closest one. I searched through the muck of the internet and only came up with a Yahoo widget link with under 100,000 downloads. So my question: What speedy criteria does this fall under? Thanks. §hep¡Talk to me! 19:24, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

Not everything that doesn't belong here qualifies for speedy deletion. In fact, most doesn't, which is why we have an elaborate policy. The speedy deletion process is only meant for the few obvious, undisputed cases where a discussion would be a waste of time. Minicalc is not such a case. Owen× 19:29, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply. I honestly figured Afd would be a waste of time for this article; but there it will go. §hep¡Talk to me! 19:34, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
You could always just prod it and see if anyone actually responds first. -- Ricky81682 (talk) 20:54, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
Indeed WP:PROD is a good middle ground. It gives involved editors the chance to improve the article where deletion (not speedy deletion) is fairly obvious, but where any AFD is likely to, given the current state of teh article, result in a snowball delete... 21:01, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
The only downside is when the author does a kneejerk de-prod (which is in accordance with policy), thus sending it to Afd anyway.--Aervanath lives in the Orphanage 13:00, 16 November 2008 (UTC)


Resolved: Being cleared. Guest9999 (talk) 05:09, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Category:Candidates for speedy deletion seems to be developing a bit of a backlog, nothing massive but 50+ speedy taggings to be reviewed. Guest9999 (talk) 04:50, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

50 is as small as it ever gets. 150+ is on the low side of a backlog. BJTalk 05:02, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
That's kind of depressing. Guest9999 (talk) 05:09, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
Why would that be depressing. This is a large site with plenty of admins to do the work. Theresa Knott | token threats 08:37, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
Obviously not enough if 150 speedy candidates is considered a small backlog. Guest9999 (talk) 11:30, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
Err...check out CAT:BACKLOG, if you really want to see some truly impressive backlog totals. 150 is on the high side for the speedy deletion category, but not overall.--Aervanath lives in the Orphanage 13:08, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
What you need to consider is the size of the backlog compared to the number of deletions occurring over a given time. The number on its own means nothing. Theresa Knott | token threats 19:52, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
Most of the backlogs in CAT:BACKLOG could be cleared by any user, they don't require administrator attention and a lot of them aren't necessarily that vital to improving and maintaining the encyclopaedia (e.g. copying images to Commons). The quick assessment of speedy candidates is (in my opinion) one of the things that stops the content of Wikipedia being reflective of the content of the internet as a whole (i.e. 99% crap - apologies for the language). Whilst you're right that - to an extent - the number itself is less important than the rate at which articles are being deleted given the typical rate of speedy tagging it should not be necessary for a backlog of 150 to build up on - as you say - "a large site with plenty of admins to do the work". What lead me here initially was not specifically the number of the backlog but the fact that an article I'd tagged (pretty standard A7) did not appear to have been reviewed by an administrator for several hours, longer than I find is typical. Guest9999 (talk) 23:19, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Review of block of (talk • contribs • deleted contribs • nuke contribs • logs • filter log • block user • block log) requested[edit]

I have enacted a 1 week block of the above account following two edits today to Rotary International. My rationale is that the ip is editing an article, and referring to another editor, in a manner that is consistent with that which prompted an earlier sanction. Given that all previous edits by this account are related to the same subject, and over an extended period, I am confident that the sanction now imposed will not effect other potential editors. However, since no warnings were provided prior to my enacting this block I am placing it up for review and would comment that I need not be consulted further should the decision be that the sanction be varied in any manner. I shall, of course, answer any concerns raised here. LessHeard vanU (talk) 10:12, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Database reports/Articles containing red-linked images[edit]

Those links should really be addressed if anyone has a few spare moments. Those are our articles, not some WikiProject subpages, and it's embarrassing that so many have so many obviously broken links. Any help in cleaning up the mess would be greatly appreciated. Cheers. --MZMcBride (talk) 18:38, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Ok can someone help me out here, i was having a crack at this list, and somehow broke the infobox's image section on this page, Blackpool Seagulls and cannot for the life of me figure out how to sort it. Cheers--Jac16888 (talk) 18:51, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
The Template:UKIceHockey team template is broken when there is no logo. A note to this effect appears on the discussion page for the template dating from Sept 2007, but nobody has fixed it. looie496 (talk) 19:24, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
I did a quick fix to hide it if no logo is provided. --AmaltheaTalk 19:25, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, MZMcBride, I was just attempting to do it like you did. :) --AmaltheaTalk 19:27, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
Thanks--Jac16888 (talk) 19:32, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Yes if nothing else it will avoid encouraging users to re-upload images which were probably deleted for a good reason. — CharlotteWebb 19:53, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

I can run the list through ImageRemovalBot -- that should get most of them. --Carnildo (talk) 22:44, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
The list I made there is actually only some of them (about 1,000 out of 16,000 (with duplicates)). Let me know if you'd like the full list. --MZMcBride (talk) 00:32, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I would. --Carnildo (talk) 02:19, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
tools:~mzmcbride/wantedfiles.txt.gz. Apparently the list has some false positives because Commons doesn't keep a clean house... --MZMcBride (talk) 05:36, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

Most of those seem to be people trying to embed offsite links, which of course isn't possible. Wouldn't it be possible to get the bot to automatically remove any image whose filename begins with "http://"? Would there be false positives in that case? Sarcasticidealist (talk) 02:26, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

ImageRemovalBot can handle removing them just fine. The problem is finding them in the first place, which basically requires direct database access: there's no log of images being added to articles. --Carnildo (talk) 02:39, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

I'm going to start going through links to Image:none and there are probably some other frequently used names that could be worth checking. hbent (talk) 02:54, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

Hmm, can someone take a look at Template:Infobox_DRCongo_Province? It's forcing images for the flag, seal and map. I'm concerned that I'll break something even more if I try to fix it. hbent (talk) 03:00, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
Actually, it's got two problems: it's forcing images, and someone thought that putting "none" for the parameter would hide the image. --Carnildo (talk) 04:21, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
As to how to find links to off-site images, I've just added the string "Image:http" to User:Lupin/badwords. All edits matching any string on this list can be monitored in real time at User:Lupin/Filter recent changes by any user who has installed User:Lupin/Anti-vandal tool. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 11:35, 17 November 2008 (UTC)


Bringing an issue here for further review.

For the last several months, WP:MOSNUM has been the site of a protracted edit war. After this sequence of reverting in early November, I protected for a week: [9], [10], [11], [12], [13], [14], [15], [16], [17], [18], [19]

Following unprotection, the edit war resumed among:

User:Tony1: [20], [21], [22], [23], [24]: warning
User:Locke Cole: [25], [26], [27], [28]: warning
User:Arthur Rubin: [29], [30], [31], [32], [33]: warning

I proceeded to warn them that further warring would result in blocks being applied. Subsequent to that, Tony1 called for me to "resign immediately" for warning them.

Later, Kotniski (talk · contribs) [34], [35], [36] and Pigsonthewing (talk · contribs) [37], [38] resumed the edit war. I warned (Kotniski warning, Pigsonthewing warning) them both, taking into account that Pigsonthewing had never commented on the talk page and had 10 prior blocks for edit warring. Kotniski accepted the warning and agreed to not war further on the page.

Pigsonthewing has demanded I apologize and User:UC Bill has insisted I apologize to Pigsonthewing to stop embarrassing myself.

As I believe I have acted within policy here, I bring it to the wider community for further review. MBisanz talk 16:46, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

  • Endorse warnings. An extra note: the warning was modified in Pigsonthewing's case, and this was necessary. However, following the modification, the demands and commentary by both Pigsonthewing and UC Bill were unreasonable and utterly inappropriate. Given his history, and the recent disruption caused at WQA, he's indeed very lucky that he wasn't blocked. Ncmvocalist (talk) 17:08, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
  • You continue to behave in an inappropriate manner. I demanded nothing; my wording was "You have just made a false accusation on my talk page. Kindly withdraw it, together with your unwarranted threat; and post an apology"; and later "I ... note that you have slightly modified, but not withdrawn, your false accusation. Please do so now". You also give a misleading diff for the warning you placed on my talk page; the correct diff is this one. I have participated in no "edit war"; and you fail to assume good faith. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 19:30, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
    • I also note that you have not notified me or any of the other editors who you slight here of this "review". Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 19:34, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Whoa, if the guideline is under a protracted editwar and had to be protected... then can someone tell me why on earth bots like User:Lightbot got approved by bag? (I also note that there are some other users that are also running manual scripts that do this same thing) Part of running bots is having community consensus as well as approval from BAG for what modifications you are doing to a page. If there is a general clear consensus (meaning somewhere public with input from multiple editors...) would someone please show it to us? —— nixeagle 19:31, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
    • Indeed this is the heart of the issue, and the one I find myself having the hardest time dealing with. There's no clear consensus for deprecating full date links, and yet a handful of editors (including Lightmouse (talk · contribs)) insist on updating their JavaScript files to remove these links in the course of other (perfectly normal) edits. I've warned multiple editors about the lack of consensus and the disputed nature and all of them either ignore my warnings or tell me there's consensus (without actually showing me where this community consensus was reached). —Locke Coletc 01:11, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Just for clarity, can we have a diff where Tony1 asks you to "resign immediately"? D.M.N. (talk) 20:09, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
    Here you go [39]. MBisanz talk 20:11, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
    Ah, OK. The warnings seem completely justified, and you've given clear evidence for the edit-warring. Have you informed the users of this discussion? D.M.N. (talk) 20:18, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
     Done MBisanz talk 20:31, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Noted, although I think those who edited immediately before the protection should have been warned, as well. I can't say I liked the tone of the warning, but it seems appropriate.
    However, I think the guideline needs to continue to note that the consensus is disputed, so that discussions can continue on the talk page. That's most of the changes I was making. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 22:06, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
    • The pet peeve of the same few editors who are loudly complaining about a change after the fact should be seen as just that, and not distorted. The change gained consensus after two years of intermittent debate at MOSNUM talk, and intensive debate there and elsewhere during July and August, plus VP notification of the proposal, plus apparently easy acceptance at FAC and FLC by nominators, plus a groundswell of acceptance/favour more widely in WP. Several people, including some represented here, are doing their best to disrupt the project to push their agenda. This should be ignored. Concerning the "warnings" by MBisanz: I believe that you are breaching several tenets of the policy concerning the behaviour of administrators (have you read it?), and I believe the call to resign was reasonable. I'm quite willing to discuss the details if you wish. Tony (talk) 11:27, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
      • The only distortion going on here Tony is from you. A small number of editors at WT:MOSNUM do not get to force their idea of how Wikipedia should be on the larger community. I've seen discussions with hundreds of editors over smaller changes than this, why should this be different? Why should it be enacted with such a small amount of input from the community? —Locke Coletc 20:22, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
        • LC, how helpful do you think your edit summary "Tony you're delusional" is to this discussion?--Goodmorningworld (talk) 20:53, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
          • About as helpful as Tony insisting I should "do some work" when the work he'd have me do is the very thing I'm arguing against. And truth be told, he must be delusional if he thinks this change had "wide community consensus" when the straw poll at WT:MOSNUM involved twelve editors. Yes friends, twelve editors are pushing this change on the rest of the community, often in protracted edit wars. —Locke Coletc 21:01, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

I don't see a need for any more drama over this particular issue, but maybe we can take an important lesson from it. It is clear to me (having been involved in and witnessed a number of such situations) that the procedures (or rather absence thereof) that we have for changing our "rules" (policies and guidelines) are not working. There needs to be a properly thought-out process ("meta-rules", as some call it) for the making of substantial changes to the rules. We can't have a situation where reams of virtual paper are used up arguing circularly about whether some rule has consensus, should be marked disputed, etc. We do have a kind of procedure described at WP:Policies and guidelines, though it deals mostly with new policy/guideline pages rather than changes, and I don't know if it has yet been put into practice. Whenever I raise this issue it is met with silence or dismissals about "instruction creep", "against the Wiki spirit" and so on, but I raise it here again in the hope that the issue being discussed will serve as a good example of why such change is badly needed. If anyone's interested we can perhaps set a separate discussion page on it.--Kotniski (talk) 11:53, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

A sensible structure would have technical stuff like this handled by a committee along the lines of ArbCom, not by any random editor who wants to "volunteer". looie496 (talk) 17:44, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, I kind of agree. Non-admin closure of discussions is problematic even in other areas (AfD, RM and so on). For big and complex discussions, I wonder whether closure shouldn't be done by an ad hoc committee (and with dialog first) rather than a single admin who happens to come along. But these are issues to be discussed elsewhere. As far as policy changes go, I'm inviting comments on my recent bold edits at WT:Policies and guidelines#Recent changes re changes.--Kotniski (talk) 20:12, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
To clarify, what I meant is that MOSNUM policies should be decided on by a special committee. looie496 (talk) 20:44, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
Why MOSNUM specifically?--Kotniski (talk) 08:22, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Agree with having policy changes in general (and MOSNUM changes in particular) finalized by a special committee. I still think MBisanz owes Pigsonthewing an apology since (regardless of previous, unrelated actions) he didn't do what he was accused of doing in this case. --UC_Bill (talk) 16:45, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

Bizarre edit attribution[edit]

Please would a patient admin look at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_UK_Railways#Canterberry.2FOlana_North and note the bizarre edit attribution which may or may not be some form of attack on a user "Pigsonthewing". If there is something to "do" about this, please can it be done? Fiddle Faddle (talk) 23:34, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

Looks like they were both by the same IP.--Fabrictramp | talk to me 23:53, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
Which I earlier this evening anon-blocked for a month. --Rodhullandemu 23:59, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
See this debate on WT:RAIL. This is a simmering fight that's been going on for over a year now following an IMO very harsh indefblock on User:Canterberry. (Short version: two users were creating sock accounts to votestack a trivial debate in opposite directions; one was blocked for three days and told not to do it again, the other was indefblocked. The original sockfest that sparked it was here.)
If nobody minds, I've "unresolved" this thread; given that there's already a discussion on WT:RAIL about whether to appeal the block, now's as good a time as any to canvass opinions from outside the somewhat incestuous "writers of articles on rail stations" world as to whether this block should be overturned. – iridescent 00:13, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
I've no strong views on this except that ascribing one's edits to another editor, for whatever purpose, seems prima facie dishonest and disruptive, not least for the false positives it can raise. That's the reason for my block. Full disclosure would be helpful, but in the murky world of the politics of railways in the UK, who knows what danger may lurk?</sarcasm> --Rodhullandemu 00:19, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
I doubt the IP is Canterberry/Olana North – looking over its history, if it is then he's been having a number of conversations with himself. (The IP is Network Rail's server, so its having an interest in trains isn't particularly surprising!) While I wouldn't rule anything in or out, in my experience it isn't Canterberry's style. – iridescent 00:28, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
I have no view on the actual identity of the IP editor; it is enough that s/he sought to represent themselves, although clumsily, as an established editor, hence the block. I checked the WHOIS before blocking, but as you say, there is little forensic information to be gained from that. --Rodhullandemu 00:34, 15 November 2008 (UTC)


Seems to me there's only one way to settle the issue, and that's to ask the thorny question - should either Canterberry or Olana North be unblocked? The block is an indefinite block, not a permanent block. It has been in place for over a year, which some editors think is excessive.

Proposal either Canterberry or Olana North is unblocked, and allowed back into the Wikipedia community. If unblocked, then a period of probation should be served, and if the behaviour which led to the original block should reoccur, the block is to be reimposed.

Other conditions may be proposed and discussed. Let's discuss the issue and reach a decision. Mjroots (talk) 06:56, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

When was the last activity (proven, admitted and/ or suspected) of this user's sock puppets? The most recent I'm aware of are: admitted: 6 October 2008; suspected: 14 November 2008 (a sockcheck shoul probably be run on the latter). Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 12:10, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
As the initiator of this thread over at WT:RAIL (and the original filer of the SSPs back in 2007), I obviously support this unblock on the proviso that he'll be reblocked if he gets disruptive, and that Canterberry and Lucy-marie steer clear of each other (shouldn't be too hard as Canterberry in all his incarnations only works on transport articles, and since the original incident L-m has steered clear of transport and now works in TV and politics articles). Yes, Canterberry's a block evader, but under his sock Olana North account he by-and-large made uncontroversial improvements to rail transport articles, not editwarring or POV-pushing. – iridescent 20:17, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
I support the block being removed on one of the accounts. Canterberry/Olana North can be a good editor when he wants to be. I think it is time that he was given another chance. Mjroots (talk) 21:33, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Canterberry was originally blocked for making personal attacks on another editor using multiple sockpuppets - it was the personal attacks that led to the block, not the sockpuppetry. So I think the issue should be whether Olana North was engaging in personal attacks. I agree with others that the Wikiquette alert in early October wasn't about a real personal attack.

The block was indefinite in the sense of having no fixed end date, and I quote myself from last November "Indefinite does not mean "forever". Indefinite means "without a pre-determined end date", and can generally be lifted when there is reason to believe that the problems that led to the block will not be repeated." [40] The user has had bad timing; one night while commuting home I'd decided to lift the block only to go online and discover the use of a new sock puppet. So I said we should talk again in December. Instead of taking a break, the user abused the unblock template enough that another admin choose to protect their talk page. Last I knew (sometime in Q1) it was suspected but not proven that Canterberry was editing under a new account and I didn't bother to investigate - so long as the personal attacks weren't occuring I didn't care. I still feel much the same way - so long as personal attacks on editors are not occuring I really don't care whether or not this user is editing. If the Olana North has not been making personal attacks, then there is now reason to believe that the problems that led to the block will not be repeated. Since I'm mostly inactive and have therefore resigned as an admin I won't be implementing whatever decision is reached by the currently active members of the community. GRBerry 14:51, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

Discussions and accusations[edit]

I have been recently been involved in a couple of extensive discussions with User:Gwen Gale regarding some deletions she carried out. These discussions have not gone well, and have ended up with me being accused of breaching quite a few policies. An outside view would be appreciated here. The main discussions can be found here, here, here and here. TigerShark (talk) 14:50, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Gwen Gale's unwillingness to discuss what seem to be reasonable concerns raised by TigerShark is unsettling, and even more so is accusing an editor of harassment for continuing to discuss something in a civil way. Regarding the accusations of wheel warring, whether it was or it wasn't seems rather trivial given the nature of it, and regardless Gwen Gale could have at least attempted to discuss it with TigerShark; it does not seem helpful to demand someone undo an action before you will even discuss why. 4I7.4I7 16:08, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
At a glance, it appears that TigerShark is harassing Gwen, stalking their deletion log and refusing to take simple answers at face value, then wheel-warring on it. Gwen stopped responding, which is what we recommend people do when they're being harassed, so the harassment has spread here. TigerShark, when someone tells you they don't agree with you but you're welcome to take the matter to the appropriate forum, is it your normal practice to leave post after post after post after post on that person's talk page, wheel war and then come running to AN? If so, do me a favour and stay off my talk page. ➨ ЯEDVERS a sweet and tender hooligan 17:12, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
The fact that this discussion carried on over at my talk page (here) may be relevant. Or it may not. Those looking at this should be aware of it, though. TalkIslander 18:25, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
I'm afraid I have to concur with Redvers, TigerShark. You appear to be picking nits over Gwen's deletion history because you disagree with her (and many other editors') interpretation of A7; and badgering her over them. If you feel that the policy is vague or misinterpreted, take it to the appropriate forum, don't harass a colleague over her reasonable interpretation of it. — Coren (talk) 19:10, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
Agreeing with Redvers as well. It looks to me like you (TigerShark) are hammering Gwen and refusing to accept her responses. I don't think there's any problem with what she has done or her declining to restore the pages and instead referring you to an appropriate forum. I feel you should leave her alone, go focus on something else for a while and then take the pages to DRV/AFD if you still feel strongly about it. Sarah 23:23, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
I also agree with Redvers; if you had taken the same path with me, you'd have been discussed on AN long before it got this far. Gwen has been exceptionally patient with you. Horologium (talk) 09:57, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

Try WP:DRV first. Or just undelete and send to AFD. Anything other than complaining on a personal basis. — CharlotteWebb 19:59, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Agree with Sarah's summary above. TigerShark, you were within your rights for about the first hour of your discussion with Gwen. After that, you should have taken the discussion to DRV, not continued to try to continue a conversation she clearly had no willingness to continue.--Aervanath lives in the Orphanage 17:30, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

WP:AIV Ringing Up Reports[edit]

Looks like we're going to need alot of extra eyes on WP:AIV today. Its ringing up reports like no tomorrow and backlogging nonstop :P.¤~Persian Poet Gal (talk) 17:05, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

Lutz Heilmann[edit]

Slashdot has a story about the German Wikipedia having some legal trouble with a member of the Bundestag (Lutz Heilmann) over the content of his article. More eyeballs on the en version of his article would be appreciated. Cheers, Mackensen (talk) 00:04, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

My very limited German suggests that the sources for what we've got seem to check out. But a competent German reader should be asked to check our article and its sources as a matter of urgency. The lawsuit against de.wp looks correct - see [41] and it is even mentioned in our wikipedia article too. I'd also suggest that we semi-protect this article as a precaution. This story will break and certain trolls will stir it.--Scott MacDonald (talk) 00:25, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
They're going nuts over this at… Last version of the article that I saw (diff) looked O.K. Semi-protection would be a very good idea IMHO.--Goodmorningworld (talk) 00:54, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
I'd fully protect, I can't see any harm in doing so, per WP:NLT. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 01:03, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
Not sure why WP:NLT suggests to lock down the article? But I'm not an admin, glad I don't have to worry about that. So far, Lutz Heilmann seems to be moving, in fits and starts, towards better comprehensiveness and accuracy. Sure has some people riled up, though. Most of the "He is a mean %&$§" comments came from IPs, most of the constructive edits came from registered editors.--Goodmorningworld (talk) 01:14, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
Danish, French and Norwegian Wikipedia entries on Lutz Heilmann have not been updated to reflect his temporary injunction against, German also does not show it (but did at several points in the article history -- article is now locked following a humongous edit war and wheel war between several admins centering on BLP policy), only Swedish shows the latest information.--Goodmorningworld (talk) 01:24, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
It's deja vu all over again: Tron_(hacker)#Naming_controversy.--Goodmorningworld (talk) 01:38, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

I've semi-protected for 24 hours. Mackensen (talk) 01:42, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Currently, more than 50% of that article are taken by a section detailing his lawsuit against Wikimedia Deutschland and editors. Why? This seems to be a most absurd case of recentism and navel-gazing. In other words, is this lawsuit such a defining moment in this politician's career that more than half of the article should be about it? Where's our sense of proportion? (talk) 20:17, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

I agree, it's thus far not a defining moment and deserves at most one sentence. He allegedly (in German) said that he is satisfied with the article now, so it's going to be old news pretty soon, and all we're left with is an increase in donations. :) --AmaltheaTalk 20:28, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Someone from an IP address recently deleted the article (and I put it back). It might be worthwhile to keep an eye on it again and/or protect it, in my 'umble hopinion. Scbarry (talk) 02:13, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

user:Arthur Rubin, user:Guyonthesubway, user:Prebys[edit